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Canadian Mohawks, police clash in Ontario

June 12, 2009 at 3:51 PM

TORONTO, June 12 (UPI) -- Tension was high Friday between police and Canadian Mohawks attempting to block an Eastern Ontario bridge to protest armed border guards, police said.

Some 40 Indian men and women from the Tyendinaga reservation occupied the bridge last Sunday in solidarity with Mohawks further east in Akwesasne who have forced the closure of a Canada-U.S. border crossing for nearly two weeks, the Canwest News Service reported.

Some 40 Ontario Provincial Police officers and Tyendinaga Mohawk Police engaged in "hand-to-hand" grappling around 6:30 a.m. in an effort to reopen the bridge, Inspector Pat Finnegan said.

He said 13 arrests for mischief were made, and during the day, the police presence doubles to some 80 officers, the report said.

Earlier in the week, Mohawks from the Six Nations reservation , 65 miles west of Toronto, also took to blockading streets and a major highway near Hamilton in protest of the new law allowing border guards to carry sidearms.

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